Academic English- Countable and Uncountable Nouns with the Same Root

Level: Advanced

Topic: Profession, work or study

Grammar Topic: Nouns

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

Academic English Countable and Uncountable Words from the Same Root

The words and expressions below come from the same root but have different grammar. 
Decide which are countable and add “a”/ “an” to them and decide which are uncountable 
and add “some” to them. There is always a combination on each line. As you as labelling, 
you might find some patterns that can help you with later examples and to recheck 
previous guesses.

____ adaptability/_____adaptation
____advocacy/ ____advocate
____assistance/ ______assistant
_____brevity/ _____brief
____clarification/ _____clarity
______complex/ _____complexity
______conformist/ _____conformity
______consultant/  _____consulting
_______consumer/ _______consumption
_____cooperation/ _____cooperative
_______coordinate/ ______coordination/ ______coordinator
______couple/ ______coupling
______creation/ _____creativity
______cycle/ _____recycling
_____definability/ ______definition
_______deregulation/ _____regulation
_______document/ _____documentation
______equivalence/ _____equivalent
______expert/ ______expertise
_______export/ ______exportation
_______facilitation/ _____facilitator/ _____facility
______finance/ _____financier/ ______financing
_____function/ ______functionality
_____identification/ ____identity
_____image/ _____imagery
_____immigrant/ ______immigration
______implement/ ______implementation
_____individual/ ______individualism/ _____individualist/ ______individuality
_____legislation/ _____legislature
______liberal/ _____liberalisation
______location/ _____relocation
______mediation/ _____mediator
______occupancy/ ______occupant/ ______occupation
______participant/ _______participation
_______predictability/ ______prediction
_______prioritisation/ _______priority
_______process/ _______processing
_________professional/ ______professionalism
______radical/ _______radicalisation

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2012

______research/ ______researcher
______respondent/ _______response/ ______responsiveness
______sequence/ ______sequencing
_______structure/ _____restructuring
_______supervision/ ______supervisor
______survival/ _______survivor
______symbol/ _______symbolism
______uniform/ _______uniformity

Compare your answers with the answer key. (Ones given without “some” are uncountable 
but don’t often take that word)

Which suffixes often show uncountable nouns (= at least two examples above)? Why?

Are there any exceptions to those patterns (e.g. in the list above)?

Which suffixes often show countable nouns (= at least two examples above)? Why?

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2012

adaptability/an adaptation
advocacy/ an advocate
some assistance/ an assistant
brevity/ a brief
a clarification/ some clarity
a complex/ some complexity
a conformist/ some conformity
a consultant/ consulting
a consumer/ consumption
some cooperation/ a cooperative
a coordinate/ some coordination/ a coordinator
a couple/ coupling
a creation/ some creativity
a cycle/ some recycling
definability/ a definition
some deregulation/ a regulation
a document/ some documentation
equivalence/ an equivalent
an expert/ some expertise
an export/ exportation
facilitation/ a facilitator/ a facility
some finance/ a financier/ some financing
a function/ functionality
identification/ an identity
an image/ some imagery
an immigrant/ some immigration
an implement/ implementation
an individual/ individualism/ an individualist/ individuality
some legislation/ a legislature
a liberal/ liberalisation
a location/ relocation
some mediation/ a mediator
occupancy/ an occupant/ an occupation
a participant/ some participation
predictability/ a prediction
prioritisation/ a priority
a process/ some processing
a professional/ professionalism
a radical/ some radicalisation
some research/ a researcher
a respondent/ a response/ responsiveness
a sequence/ sequencing
a structure/ some restructuring
some supervision/ a supervisor
survival/ a survivor
a symbol/ some symbolism
a uniform/ uniformity

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2012

Suggested answers to the language analysis questions
Which suffixes often show uncountable nouns (= at least two examples above)?
-

ation

-

cy

-

ing

-

ism

-

ity

-

tion

Why?
They are abstract nouns

Are there any exceptions? Many, for example:
An adaptation
A clarification
A creation
A facility

Which suffixes often show countable nouns (= at least two examples above)?
-

ist

-

ant

-

er/ or

-

al

Why?
Because they mean people, or in the case of “-al” because they are adjectives used to 
refer to people

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2012